Henry VIII

Henry VIII

3.78 (123 ratings by Goodreads)
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Henry VIII's forceful personality dominated his age and continues to fascinate our own. In few other reigns have there been developments of such magnitude-in politics, foreign relations, religion, and society-that have so radically affected succeeding generations. Above all the English Reformation and the break with Rome are still felt more than four centuries on. First published in 1968, J. J. Scarisbrick's Henry VIII remains the standard account, a thorough exploration of the documentary sources, stylishly written and highly readable. In an updated foreword, Professor Scarisbrick takes stock of subsequent research and places his classic account within the context of recent publications. "It is the magisterial quality of J.J. Scarisbrick's work that has enabled it to hold the field for so long."-Steve Gunn, Times Literary Supplementshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 592 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 34mm | 839.16g
  • Yale University Press
  • New Haven, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New
  • 23 b-w illus.
  • 0300071582
  • 9780300071580
  • 412,101

About J. J. Scarisbrick

J. J. Scarisbrick is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Bristol.show more

Review Text

Written by a British academician, this first comprehensive life of Henry VIII to appear in sixty-five years presents a new viewpoint of the "bullock-like" monarch and his reign, based on modern thinking and present-day research. The author, presupposing a general knowledge of Henry on the part of his readers, deals in detail with the political, religious and international aspects of his reign rather than with the more lurid incidents of his personal life. The picture which emerges from this study is of a vacillating man, believing scurrilous rumors, and brutal to those he considered his enemies, but probably less bloodthirsty than history has painted him. Henry became king at the age of fifteen, on the death of his older brother Arthur. When he died, thirty-seven years later, England had endured and survived costly and futile wars with France, embroilments with Spain and Scotland, and an overwhelming political and religious revolution brought about by the split with the Papacy over his divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and his marriage to Ann Boleyn. The fortune he amassed through carnage went to wage useless wars, but out of the turmoil England gained a sense of national unity, and on Henry's death in 1547, he was "revered and in a strange way, even loved." This scholarly, well-written and copiously documented book is essential for all libraries of Tudor history and all students of the subject; it is not for bedside tables. (Kirkus Reviews)show more
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